Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 12:55 PM
L100 A (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Micro-structure and permeation in a polymer membrane are closely related to residual solvent during membrane fabrication. In this study, we conduct atomistic simulation to investigate the effects of residual solvent on free volume distribution and H2 permeation in a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1). The interaction energies of three solvents (CHCl3, CH3OH, and H2O) with PIM-1 are predicted to be -16.3, -9.6 and -7.0 kcal/mol, respectively, in good agreement with available experimental data. On this basis, a structure-property relationship is proposed between interaction energy and the critical volume of solvent. The cyano and dioxane groups in PIM-1 interact preferentially with CH3OH and H2O; however, the carbon atoms interact more strongly with CHCl3. The mobility of residual solvent is found to decrease in the order of H2O > CH3OH > CHCl3. Upon comparison, the mobility of PIM-1 chains is small but facilitated by solvent due to the cooperative interaction between polymer and solvent. The fractional free volume and large voids in PIM-1/solvent membranes are observed to decrease as CH3OH > CHCl3 > H2O, which is consistent with positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy measurement. The solubility and diffusion coefficients of H2 decrease in the same order, and the predicted and experimental coefficients are in fairly good agreement. This simulation study provides atomistic insight into the microscopic properties of residual solvent in a polymer membrane, and reveals that residual solvent play a crucial role in tailoring membrane structure and gas permeation.